Kolhapur: Plants have always been an integral part of her life. Having spent her childhood in the lush green environment of the Konkan region of Maharashtra, she shifted to a sixth-floor flat in Kolhapur after her marriage. The open space in front of her traditional house, crowded with different species of plants, was soon replaced by concrete walls. There was practically no space for plants in the house, but Aparna Kulkarni, a software engineer, took this up as a challenge and converted her house into a mini nursery with around 550 plants spread across the house.
Ms Kulkarni has been fond of plants since her childhood days. She inherited her gardening skills from her mother, also a passionate plant lover. Living on the sixth floor in an apartment block did not diminish her love for plants. With the support of her husband, she started working on an idea of converting her house into a mini nursery. "Plants have always been an inseparable part of my life. Owing to space constraint, we adopted a different approach and focused on the collection of unique plants,” she says.
She has a collection of oxygen plants which include zamia, spider lily, snake plant, and many more. These plants can be watered once in 15 days and can survive shaded environments too. She also has different shrubs and creepers.
She has enhanced the aesthetic appeal of her house by arranging different plants in different rooms. The drawing room is full of shrubs and small plants. The kitchen is reserved for creepers, and the balcony and the terrace have a combination of different plants which need sunlight. The hanging creepers add to the beauty of the terrace. She also has a zamia plant in the bathroom as it absorbs moisture and keeps the place fresh.
Ms Kulkarni has been involved in this hobby for the past 11 years. Four years ago, she started her own nursery. She is also into the landscaping business. "Every year we plan a family trip. I bring at least one plant from the places visited. We even made a special trip to Andhra Pradesh and Ooty just for collecting plants. In today’s world, one’s passion and hobbies are generally listed below professional aspirations. But I have a different checklist and have lived up to it,” she says.